Friday Roundup

Happy 2017. I never really feel the new year starts until my birthday, which is on Monday, so I’ve still been in post-holiday mode. Hence the lack of a roundup last weekend, and hence I'm going to spend most of this roundup yammering on about various Christmas foodstuffs.

My sister and I had a very nice Christmas. The cocktails in the photo are made from vodka infused with, um, green apple-flavored Mike & Ike’s, with apple-flavored seltzer added. The result was sticky-sweet and gimmicky but pleasantly appletini-ish. The mysterious orbs at the bottoms of the glasses are cherries.

Christmas Eve: For brunch, I made a very good tart with puff pastry topped with a mixture of cream cheese, goat cheese, garlic, and herbs, with a ton of grilled vegetables—eggplant, zucchini, onions, peppers—and fresh basil loaded on the top. We had champagne and our traditional oyster stew—a long-standing family recipe that I have since amended into a smoky oyster chowder—for dinner. For the chowder, I sautéed chopped bacon and onions, added a tin of smoked oysters, added cubed boiled potatoes, added milk, and seasoned with salt and pepper. Simple and delicious. (The original family recipe consisted of a can of oysters, a can of evaporated milk, a pat of margarine, and salt and pepper. Even simpler, but not as smoky and savory and delicious. The recipe was a Christmas-tradition holdover from our late mother, who learned it from her mother, who grew up during the Depression. I always feel a pang of guilt for having changed the recipe so significantly, but I think our mother would approve. There’s really no need to use canned evaporated milk if you have fresh milk on hand, and the additions of bacon and potatoes and smoked oysters give it whole new layers of delicious flavors.)

Christmas morning: Potato pancakes with lox and sour cream for breakfast, along with champagne. Christmas dinner: I crusted a prime rib in salt—I had some pretzel salt on hand, which worked fabulously—and roasted it. Two sauces: a horseradish sauce made from sour cream, Dijon mustard, and fresh grated horseradish; and a chimichurri sauce with jalapenos, parsley, cilantro, shallots, balsamic vinegar, and olive oil.  I made Jamie Oliver’s roasted potatoes, Alex Guarnaschelli’s blackened carrots, and a spinach/bacon/goat cheese/beet salad. Holy crap, everything turned out well. Hands down the best meal I’ve ever made. The two sauces turned out so well that, for my birthday, we’re doing a pork tenderloin just so we have an excuse to make the horseradish and the chimichurri again.

I just really like food, that's all.

Oh, hey, make sure your carbon monoxide detectors are working. Wednesday at 6:30 AM, the nice couple who live downstairs from us (we have the top floor of a two-story rowhouse; they have the bottom floor) had their alarm go off. Turns out the boiler in the basement was broken and was spewing poisonous fumes. Visits from the fire department, ConEdison, and the plumber ensued, and we were without heat for a day, but it's better than being dead of carbon monoxide poisoning.

The rumored Duranalysis book is very much a thing. It's underway. I’ll update as I have more information, but probably mid-April is a reasonable publication timeframe at this point. In the meantime, please visit and support the Duranalysis Facebook page by liking and commenting as applicable. Here’s a glut of my Duranalysis cartoons in the meantime:

Video of the week: Here’s Simon Le Bon wailing the 1972 Python Lee Jackson/Rod Stewart hit “In a Broken Dream” on the television show MUSIC on Mediaset Italia. 

Have a joyous weekend, please.


montereysnow said…

Happy Birthday from a fellow Capricorn.

Some years ago I realized January is the best birthday month. You only have to go through, "oh my god another year has gone by, oh my god I am another year older" once. You get it out of the way early and then you can just get on with it.

Best of luck on the book deal. Your New Year sounds like it is off to a good start.

Morgan Richter said…
Happy birthday right back (whichever day yours falls on), fellow Capricorn! I like having a January birthday for the exact same reason. It feels like the year has really started as soon as my birthday rolls around.
Anonymous said…
happy incredibly belated birthday! this birthday wish has been entire days in the making, and i'm sorry it took so long. i don't know how it happened. no, i do know how it happened, which sorta makes it worse - i've been working away at countdown-related art non-stop so i can go to sailor moon on sunday with a clean conscience and most of the comic stuff ready to go online. (are you going to sailor moon at some point? i just love the novelty of it, much like i loved the doctor who anniversary event and the duran event - sailor moon on the big screen! 8D) i'm planning to stay off the internet entirely tomorrow, so now was the time. if i waited any longer, i'd probably come back to an entirely new roundup, and then trying to sandwich a birthday mention in would be Weird.

seeing these january birthday upsides makes me a little jealous. mine's coming up in february, when i officially become Not a Young Person According to Marketers. waah. (technically i already was last year, but at least i was just a year from the cutoff?) it'd be a lot nicer to just get the another-year-older part over with right away.

i have the carrots open in a new tab, and there's also a completely unrelated spaghetti with garlic and butter tab. eventually i will cook a thing, i can just feel it. and that's scary re: the boiler leak! i'm glad you guys are okay.

124 people can't be wrong! congratulations! i've finally started commenting every now and then over there, by which i mean i've done it twice. ^^; (but i kinda miss the ebay adventures and the new swoons on monday. it's so fun watching other people mess up drawing the durans in different ways than i do! and i have to admit, i was filing away all those interviews into my folder.)
Morgan Richter said…
Thanks for the birthday wishes, Mousie. Good to have you back. I hadn't really been aware of the Sailor Moon R release until you brought it up, but that'd be fun to see on the big screen.

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